MARLBOROUGH – Raising money is a challenge for every school and making it a fun activity that includes all students raises the bar just a bit higher.
Recently the Advanced Math & Science Academy Charter School (AMSA) managed to pull it all together with a fun run organized through Booster, a reputable fundraising resource for schools across the nation.
With New England weather so unpredictable, the AMSA Events Committee was concerned that rain might dampen the enthusiasm of the students, but they needn’t have worried.
The day dawned bright and sunny with blue skies and moderate temperatures, perfect for running around the field at ForeKicks in Marlborough.
The AMSA Lower School is comprised of the sixth, seventh and eighth grade classes, and they came prepared to run, skip, dance or walk around the designated track, moving to the beat of the DJ who shouted encouragement throughout the event. Most students came in their class colors and donned appropriately colored leis, grass skirts, garland, scarves and stickers distributed by volunteers of the PTO as they entered the event.
The fundraising portion of the event was secondary to having an enjoyable time and participating as a class, explained Lisa Mobley, Executive Director of the school.
Just to add a little fun incentive, however, she did agree to allow one student from each grade to throw a pie at her if the total raised was $20,000 or more. According to the count at the end of the day, that amount was reached and surpassed, with the donation window still open a few additional days, so Mobley will be securing her shower cap and preparing for the big day.
As the last group finished, organizers gathered their spirit paraphernalia and posed for a picture.
“A lot of parents on our Board have always had a positive response with Booster’s fundraising programs and we are happy it worked out well for AMSA’s first time. We have plenty of notes for improvements if we choose to have another Booster Run next year. After doing these for eight years at Mulready Elementary in Hudson, I can honestly say they get smoother and easier to do each year for the committee and teachers,“ said Andrea Silva-Robbins, one of the organizers.
The money raised is designated for the Imagine Campaign, a capital campaign to supplement the school equity and bond by Boston Private that are funding the campus project just getting underway.
As a charter school, AMSA does not have access to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) grant funding and thus is dependent on private bank funding and fundraising.
Prior to the construction, step one of the project was moving the loop road around the campus to alleviate traffic blocks on Forest Street in the mornings and afternoons and to keep the interior of the campus safe for pedestrians. Phase one continues with the construction of a new academic building housing classrooms and laboratories. AMSA currently only has one lab.
As one student, Daniel Maccioli, a seventh grader from Marlborough, succinctly put it, “We won’t have to have chemistry in a tiny little room anymore!”
Chris Houle, an AMSA math teacher who also mentors the FIRST Tech Challenge robotics program, thinks that once the public sees the building going up it will be easier to raise more money from parents, the community, and local industry.
“It is a fascinating process from my classroom window!”
The goal of the Imagine Campaign is to raise $2 million. Donations can be made through the STEM Soaring Eagles Foundation. All contributions will improve equity in access to science and technology for all students.